Duane Brown isn’t happy with his contract situation, reportedly staging a hold-in during training camp.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll acknowledged to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero on Sunday that Brown is “making a statement” by sitting out of practices and noted that Seattle is working on getting a deal done before the start of the season.
“We’re working at it…” Carroll told Pelissero. “Duane is really an important player for us on the offensive side of the ball. And we know how to work with him and make sure he’s ready to play. He’s making a statement right now. We’re working with him. He’s going through walkthroughs and all, so we know he’ll be ready to play. He would not be practicing a lot at this time (anyway), so we’ll try to work our way through it and make sure we can put this thing together.”
Brown enters the last year of his contract set to earn $10 million in base salary and $1.35 million in bonuses. With 15 left tackles and five right tackles making more than him per year, Brown wants a bump in pay in line with his standing as one of the top tackles in the game.
After Sunday’s mock game, quarterback Russell Wilson — who opined about his line’s previous blocking struggles earlier this offseason — underscored how important he believes Brown is to the Seahawks’ success in 2021.
“Not having Duane Brown out there is a pretty significant deal because I think he’s one of the best left tackles in the game, there’s no arguing it,” Wilson said, via ESPN. “I think he’s as good as it gets. There’s nobody more athletic, more talented than he is. Age is just a number. He looks like he’s 28-30 out there. He’s really exceptional. So smart and physical, understands the game, and I think people fear him, to be honest with you, when they’re rushing him and playing against him.
“So we definitely want to be able to get him back out there. We’ve got to figure that out because we need Duane Brown.”
Brown started all 16 games last season for Seattle and is a rock on the left side when healthy. However, he turns 36 at the end of the month, and it’s possible the Seahawks don’t want to commit long-term to a player hitting an age where many tackles fall off sharply.
Given Carroll’s willingness to discuss the situation and Wilson advocating for the left tackle, a middle-ground can surely be found that gives Brown a bump in pay and perhaps a short-term extension without the Seahawks committing a ton of long-term guarantees.